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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 2/15/11

GOP to Dems: If Jobs Are Lost, Then So Be It

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debbie hines
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House Speaker John Boehner says if jobs are lost as a result of the GOP budget cuts, then "so be it". That's a far cry from the Republican rhetoric during the campaign of jobs, jobs and jobs.     After winning over Congress in the midterm elections, Republicans said they understood that the American people want jobs.   Since the midterm election, the Lame Duck session and the swearing in of the new 112th Congress on January 5, 2011, there has not been one single jobs bill to be introduced by our new Republican Congress.   Instead, the Republican Congress has been busy introducing bills to end health care reform, end health insurance for pre-existing conditions, and change the definition of rape and other unrelated job measures.   From the beginning, Republican legislators made clear that they went to Washington to undo things instead of going to do things.

Back when the Republicans were campaigning, they constantly talked about jobs.   But, since starting on January 5, 2011, the Republicans have done nothing to create jobs. Republicans held votes on 11 bills and not a single one of those votes created a single job for a single American.   Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared on February 12, 2011 that President Obama's legislative agenda is "over" but said the GOP is willing to work to do what they "think is right for America." With no jobs on their agenda, so far, it appears that Republicans must now think jobs are wrong for Americans.

  Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn     (D. SC) says:

"I come from a district and a state where unemployment is unacceptably high and too many people have been out of work for much too long.   I honestly wish the Republican majority would focus on commonsense, pragmatic ways to create American jobs. If they decide to do this, they will find me a willing partner. But let's stop these shenanigans like we're seeing today."

Last week, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ("DCCC") started the website WhenAreTheJobs.com to count the days that are running without a jobs bill being introduced.   And last week,  Republicans introduced a spending bill that would reduce the number of police on the streets. That eliminates jobs instead of creating them. The new Republican Congress has also focused on an extreme anti-choice agenda. They have gone from trying to re-define rape to allowing hospitals to refuse abortion care to women who will die without it. Politicians want to make government smaller by making it   "just small enough to fit inside our bedrooms and our medicine cabinets"  says NARAL Pro Choice America President Keenan. So bottom line is the Republicans, who campaigned on jobs and keeping government smaller,   are failing to live up to their promise.  

Everyday citizens cannot just stand idly by waiting for our lawmakers to introduce jobs. We have a democracy and must work towards making it work for Americans. There is no greater priority than getting Americans back to work. We are still a government of the people, by the people and for the people. We must be the change that we want.  

On the issue of jobs, Americans should be non-partisan and united together. That's the lesson of the Egyptian revolution.   We need to take it to the airwaves, the Internet and our legislators' offices on Capitol Hill. We have democracy and freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, yet some now take it for granted.   Many Americans have become passive in their civic engagement. With peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and televised coverage,  Dr. Martin Luther King and civil rights supporters helped to bring about the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Now more than ever, we need to take action to bring about the jobs  and social change we need.

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Washington DC based Debbie Hines is a lawyer, former prosecutor and legal/political commentator. She frequently appears on television commenting on gender and race issues in law and politics. As an ivy league educated woman of color, she speaks (more...)
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